Stop Hate for Profit: Campaign to boycott Facebook ads to go global

Cornelia Mascio
Giugno 30, 2020

Starbucks, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Diageo, Unilever, and Verizon have all halted advertising on Facebook - and in some cases, on other social-media platforms too.

Ad Age's Jack Neff and E.J. Schultz report: "Clorox-whose products include its namesake brand plus Burt's Bees, Brita, Pine-Sol, Glad, Liquid-Plumr, Fresh Step, Scoop Away, Kingsford and Hidden Valley Ranch-joined the Facebook boycott through December, citing a need to 'take action against hate speech, which we believe will increase through the balance of the year, ' according to a statement".

People walk past Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

The global campaign will proceed as organizers continue to urge more U.S. companies to participate. And that in turn will depend on how successful they are in using other media during such a suspension, and whether, given their intense concern about safeguarding their brands, significant numbers of consumers actually begin to show a shift in sentiment or behavior toward Facebook and the other dominant platforms.

Facebook, which is based in Menlo Park, Calif. and also owns Instagram and WhatsApp, said in a statement that it invests billions of dollars each year to keep its community safe and continuously works with outside experts to review and update its policies.

Calls for an advertising boycott of Facebook next month have come from the NAACP, the big civil rights group that defends African Americans' interests, and the Anti-Defamation League, which fights anti-Semitism. Unilever, for instance, on Friday committed to pausing its USA spending on Facebook for the rest of the year.

Annually, Facebook generates $70 billion in advertising sales and about a quarter of it comes from big companies such as Unilever with the vast majority of its revenue derived from small businesses.

Many brands are not as reliant on Facebook as they once were because they have realized Instagram is more valuable for attracting younger customers and because Facebook has lost some of its more targeted advertising abilities after the data of up to 50 million Facebook users was misused by analytics firm Cambridge Analytica.

But the publicity around its hate speech policies have hurt its perception and stock.

Zuckerberg has responded to the Facebook criticism by announcing that the company will add a link to all voting-related posts suggesting users investigate its new voter information hub.

Several high-profile executives have called for the social-media giant to do more to combat the spread of misinformation and hate speech on its platform. "Even if a politician or government official says it, if we determine that content may lead to violence or deprive people of their right to vote, we will take that content down". Many of the United States of America based companies who have joined the list haven't stopped advertising they have just switched to other provides of online advertising.

Canadian companies are joining a growing list of top global brands vowing not to advertise on Facebook Inc.in July because of the company's refusal to deal with the spread of hateful content on its platform.

The unprecedented move has been joined by major brands like Unilever, Starbucks, Levis, and Coca-Cola, with almost 200 firms pausing advertising on the world's leading social network, and has wiped out billions in Facebook's market value.

A version of this story first appeared on Campaign Asia-Pacific and has beed edited to include details of Diageo, Starbucks and Levi's joining the advertiser boycott.

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